[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Will these, ”value add”, improvements provide a return on investment and contribute to achieving your financial goals?

If you want to increase the value of your property and potentially its sale price, knowing where to spend your money is important. Conversely, knowing where NOT to spend your money is even more important. What are five items that add little or no value to most properties?

1. Swimming pools

While you may like it and some buyers may have a tropical pool retreat on their ‘must have’ feature list, other potential buyers may think ‘hassle’, ‘danger’, or ‘expensive to maintain’.  If you don’t already have a pool, don’t think of it as an upgrade if you are intending to sell the property.

2. High end fittings and fixtures

Unless you are selling to a highly niche market, high end fixtures and fittings will not always give you a good return on investment.  Focus on durable quality instead.

3. Things you cannot see

Unless your property is on a major highway or backs onto a train line, the cost of double glazing may not be warranted. Similarly, other ‘out of sight’ / ‘out of mind’ items such as insulation and extractor fans may not boost your sale price.

It is a good idea though, to ensure items such as air conditioning systems and appliances are appropriately serviced and in working order.

4. First impressions count – right?

Landscaping.  Fencing.  Pathways.  Driveways.  Just as a fully concreted property could be a major detractor, a high maintenance garden could have the same effect.  A low maintenance garden, with some lawn and easy access for rubbish removal will be attractive to a larger group of buyers.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″]


[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]This is a powerful question to ask yourself as you think about your goals …

What would I need to do to fast track the achievement of this goal?

Somebody once said, “The answers are always in the questions, you just have to ask the right questions.”

Our mind is a powerful resource waiting for us to use that power. If you ask the right questions, framed in a positive way, then your subconscious will work on finding an answer for you.

So, think about each of your key goals and ask yourself these questions:

  • If this goal is to be achieved easily, what would I have to do?
  • If this goal is to be achieved in half the time I have allocated, what would have to happen this week and this month?
  • What would I need to do to fast track the achievement of my goal?

Ask different questions if you are looking for different results!

Source: this article is from www.keithabraham.com

HM Comment: Maybe you’re reading this and you’re struggling with achieving goals, maybe you’re reading this because you don’t have goals and you want to start creating them. Either way, you need to clearly articulate your goals, know exactly what it is you want to achieve and then ask yourself the right questions so that you can fast track them! [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]I just received my credit card statement from one of our big banks. The fine print on the statement, which I would guess few of us read, suggested that if I dutifully pay the minimum monthly amount, and don’t put any other charges on my card (they didn’t actually say that, but I am smart enough to read between the lines!) then I would have my $3,736.34 balance paid off in “about 54 years and 6 months”.


That, dear readers, is somewhere around Christmas 2071, at which time I will have just celebrated my 122nd birthday. I will also have paid an estimated $23,166.05 in interest.

Credit cards are wonderfully convenient. They allow us to buy what we want, when we want, and without huge regard for how we are going to actually pay for it.

In the “good old days” you had to wait until you had the money before buying new clothes, the latest fashion accessories, electronic gadgets, or most other things for that matter. But now? Instant gratification at the swipe of an 85 x 55 mm piece of plastic.

Please don’t get me wrong, credit cards can be a very useful accessory but like fire, they are a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

Last week, I was looking at the ASIC’s Moneysmart website. It has a counter that tracks credit card debt. When I looked at the counter, the total outstanding credit card debt in Australia stood at just over $32 billion. The interest component alone was $5.4 billion. That is the equivalent of an outstanding balance of $4,383 on each and every credit card on issue in Australia.

Incidentally, I looked at the ASIC “counter” 12 hours later and total credit card debt had increased by $3.5m over night. Must have been a big night on the town somewhere!

No wonder the banks and merchants are so keen on issuing credit cards, and increasing credit limits wherever they can. This is easy money for them. And remember, they don’t want you to pay off the full balance of your account. Just pay the minimum each month…..that will be fine!

If we are to generate real wealth, we need to tackle our credit card debt as a matter of priority. Increasing credit card debt, and associated interest payments are a cancer that is eating away at our society. We must “save our way” out of the poverty trap.

The level of credit card debt is sickening and so many young people, families and older Australians are being inflicted by stress that comes from insurmountable debt. Somehow, we have to rise to the challenge and overcome this burden. It is the only way we can hope to enjoy some level of financial freedom and not be celebrating our 122nd birthday knowing that we have just cleared our credit card debt.

In a future blog I will provide some simple strategies for getting rid of the credit card debt once and for all.

Oh, and by the way, my very helpful bank suggested that if I paid $192.25 per month off my credit card each month, instead of the minimum, I will have it paid off in just 2 years, thereby saving myself $22,281.58 in interest.

Source: Centrepoint Alliance

HM Comment: This article highlights the importance of avoiding, where possible, the use of high interest credit cards. According to moneysmart.gov.au Australian’s owe just under $32 billion in credit card debt, of which $5.5 billion is interest! This equals approximately $4,300 of debt per credit card in Australia and $730 in interest annually!

So, if you do have credit card debt, always try and pay more than the minimum monthly repayment and save yourself potentially thousands of dollars in interest repayments.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

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Financially responsible and successful people don’t build their wealth by accident — or overnight. Becoming rich takes serious willpower and long-term vision. You have to be able to keep your eye on the prize of financial freedom and develop good habits to win. Here are 10 habits you can start putting into practice now.

  1. Start early

As the old saying goes “the early bird catches the worm” or, in this case, gets to retire in style. The sooner you put your money to work, the more time it has to grow.

Think about this: Investing $10,000 and leaving it to grow for 40 years, with, say an average annual return of 8%, your nest egg will be worth over $217,000. By waiting 10 years and investing $20,000 — twice as much — your nest egg will be $17,000 less and you will have just over $200,000.

Whatever your situation, saving and investing now is better than waiting until tomorrow.

  1. Out of sight, out of mind

You can be your own worst enemy when it comes to financial success. It’s easy to procrastinate and neglect what you need to do to achieve financial freedom.  Giving into temptation and spending more than you should – it’s the perfect recipe for not achieving your financial goals.

The best way to protect yourself is to automate your savings – set up regular, recurring transfers from your salary to your savings, investment or Super Fund accounts. This way, you can avoid bad money habits, retrain yourself and save what you would likely otherwise spend. If you haven’t already, set aside 15 minutes on your calendar now to do it. Not later, now. Your financially free self will thank you in the future.

  1. Maximise superannuation contributions

Next, think about your super contributions.  Like most Australians, you’re probably only investing the standard contribution and nothing more.  A small additional contribution is better than none. If you are concerned that additional contributions will squeeze your cash flow, remember, it is easier to get in the habit of spending less if you don’t have that extra money to spend in the first place. It’s much harder to scale back your budget year after year to accommodate increasing contributions.

  1. Zero credit card balance

Revolving, high-interest debt is one of the biggest threats to your financial freedom. It can seriously drag you down, costing you thousands in unnecessary fees and interest charges — and prevent you from saving more. If you ever want to be rich, you have to ditch the bad habit of carrying credit card balances, along with the minimum payment mentality.

Instead, you need to learn how to use credit wisely, rather than as a crutch, and commit to paying off your balances in full each month. Smart credit card holders know and practice the tricks to maximise rewards, points, discounts and monthly cash flow without getting in over their head.  Living within your means is key to financial freedom.

  1. Live like you’re poor

Have you ever met someone who is unassuming and modest and then were surprised to later learn that they are actually rolling in dough? We had an older client who was stuck in 1983 – he wore ugly brown suits and running shoes, drove a beat-up baby blue Volvo station wagon and lived in the same modest house he bought 40 years ago. Turns out, this man was a successful entrepreneur and multimillionaire, and even richer because of his humble habits.

Millionaires are all around us. Many of them are probably not who you would think. They live below their means and save their money rather than spend it. Sure, it’s easy to live comfortably when you have millions, but remember, getting into the habit of spending less now will help you have a lot more later. The trick is adopting a “less is more” mentality and sticking with it, even when your income and net worth increase in the future.

  1. Avoid temptation

The temptation to live large and beyond our means is all around us: TV, magazines, friends, family, colleagues, “the Joneses.” It is nearly impossible to escape the pressure to spend, spend, spend. Overspending often leads to debt, no savings, long-term financial insecurity and worry.

Force yourself to avoid negative financial influences as much as possible go cold turkey. Avoid malls, unsubscribe retail emails, don’t sign up for new ones and say “no” to invitations that will cost you money.

Replace these temptations with goals that motivate you.

  1. Be goal-oriented

Goals inspire us, motivate us and give us purpose. Many of us have common goals, such as paying off debt, buying a house and retiring by a certain age. Goals can be overshadowed by the daily stresses of life, too often forgotten and neglected. When goals are just fleeting thoughts in your mind, they lose meaning and influence over your behaviour. This leads to bad financial habits, and your dream of becoming financially independent stays a dream.

To make your goals reality, stay focused by committing time to think, prioritise and target saving an amount for each.  A visual of your target goal can be a positive and powerful reminder of your target goal.  If you’re more tech oriented, there are several apps available to help track progress towards your goal.

  1. Financial literacy

Successful investors take the time to study key financial concepts, learn do’s and don’ts and stay abreast of current trends. They take advantage of opportunities to strengthen and expand their understanding and expose themselves to financial information on a daily basis. Become a devoted student of money and you can master the science of financial freedom.

  1. Diversify your portfolio

Be careful not to overwhelm yourself and only follow advice from credible sources, so you don’t fall victim to progress paralysis or unsuitable and potentially dangerous investments.

Successful investors also know not to put all of their money eggs in one basket—or two baskets, for that matter. They spread their wealth across a variety of investments, from shares, managed funds, bonds, to real estate and collectables. A diversified portfolio means that you can potentially take advantage of multiple sources of growth and protect yourself from financial ruin if one of your investments bombs.

An easy way to achieve diversification is to invest in managed funds based on your risk tolerance.

  1. Spend money to make money

The best way to protect yourself and get a step up on your financial goals is to invest in a team of professionals. This means hiring a qualified and experienced financial adviser, accountant and in complex cases, an estate lawyer. Yes, working with professionals will cost you, and you can still do some DIY investing, but their objectivity, expertise, personalised guidance and ongoing monitoring can be well worth it (and relieve you of the huge burden of figuring it all out on your own).

Make sure that you interview several candidates so you can find professionals you trust, feel comfortable with and whose approach is a good fit for your situation. And even if you work with an adviser, make sure that you’re still involved and aware of where your money is going — and why.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

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Having Money Newsletter HeaderWhat will you achieve this year?

Welcome to the February edition of the Having Money newsletter!

How old were you when you set your first goal?Keith Abraham article

This is a brilliant article from Keith Abraham on Goal Setting from a young age.

I was recently working with a great client of mine, delivering a series of workshops to accountants around the country. I gave copies of my BE book to the event organiser and their two children—one 14 and the other 10.

Read more

What are your goals for 2016?

It may sound basic, but if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know how to get there?

Through writing clearly defined goals, you can measure and see progress in goals that might previously have seemed unachievable.

Clients of HM have already set their goals and are well on their way to achieving them. If you want a refresher on some of your goals or know someone who may need to be pointed in the right direction, download (and share!) our goal setter here.

Client News – Having MoneyWhere in the World?

Over the holiday period, we received a lovely card and photo from our clients Ian & Melody H.

“HM, thanks for a great year! This year we:

  • Went on two overseas holidays
  • Purchased a new boat
  • Are feeling financially secure, happy and healthy.

We couldn’t have done it without your support!”

We have the motivation and capacity to help so many more Australian’s get ahead financially and achieve what they really want in life.

If you, or someone you know, want to get ahead financially contact us today.

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